Everyone is hard at work! HMMH (data gathering), Dynamic Strategies (public relations), and the Washington D.C. based law firm of Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney are all on board and have received their charge from the City. The central theme of their work involves the development of an agreed upon message from the City, community groups, and neighborhoods and villages throughout our city that will result in planes departing from JWA on a higher and quieter basis. HMMH has spent the last several months collecting noise data on departing flights, and from the data formulating a recommended alternate departure path that will provide some relief to those who live under or near the flight takeoff path. Dynamic Strategies is in the process of meeting with community groups and organizations, and reaching out to minimally involved residents and HOA’s to participate in the messaging. They are also working closely with the DC law firm and are making arrangements for two trips to Washington DC for the purpose of interacting with congressmen, air carriers and the FAA.
Here in the City, City Manager Dave Kiff and myself continue to host monthly Airport Forums which have proven to be very informative as well as instructive. Attendance at these Forums continues to be strong, and those in attendance are actively engaging with presenters, City staff, myself, and Dave Kiff.
It is our hope that within the next 3 to 4 months everything will be wrapped up and ready to present to key individuals that have to do with the flight takeoff pattern. We are optimistic that the time, effort and funds being spent on this effort will have a positive outcome.
Newport Beach Animal Shelter
One of the first action items that I voted on after being elected was the establishment of the Newport Beach Animal Shelter. Much has happened with the Shelter in its first year of operation. Being the animal lover that I am, I make periodic trips up to the Shelter to help out, give the animals some attention, and just to check on the overall setup. I am never disappointed in the quality of care being provided, and the highly successful adoption rate taking place. During this first year of operation the Friends of the Newport Beach Animal
Shelter was formed (FONBAS). Councilwoman Dixon and I recently met with board members from FONBAS who have established the goal of purchasing the facility from which the Shelter currently operates. FONBAS has plans to purchase and then gift the facility to the City with the City continuing to support the annual operating costs of the Shelter. FONBAS is obviously dependent on donations in order to make this estimated purchase of $1.3 million. Please
consider contributing. You may do so on-line at www.FONBAS.org.
Each year council members are given a discretionary fund from which they can make contributions and allocations to community organizations which help to support their activities and events. I recently made a $1,000.00 donation from my discretionary funds to FONBAS to support the purchase a permanent home for the Shelter in Newport Beach. Won’t you join me at a level with which you are most comfortable? Any donation will be met with much appreciation!
District 5 Projects
An 83 year old water main, that has served us well, is currently being replaced on Balboa Island. While somewhat inconvenient, the work is moving along faster than anticipated and is due for completion within the next 4 weeks.
Also taking place is the extension of the Big Island Seawall with a nine (9) inch cap. This project started in February and is going extremely well. The contractor is now at the West end of the Big Island. Approximately 3 blocks are being completed at a time. There has been no disruption to the use of the Island Boardwalk by walkers.
Other Capital Improvement Projects taking place throughout the City include:
Balboa Island Seawall Extension
Balboa Island Water Main Replacement
CdM Library and Fire Station
A new fire station on the peninsula
A new fire engine garage at the Mariner’s Fire Station
Refurbishment of the Newport Elementary beach playground (cost sharing with NMUSD)
Year of the Harbor
The City is entering PHASE 2 of the newly established Harbor Department. Under Harbor Master Dennis Durgan’s leadership, an entire new approach to the management of the harbor is taking place. Phase 2 involves a closer look at staffing and the need for additional equipment. Also, the City has hired a legal firm to advocate for us at the Federal and state levels, as well as with the Army Corps of Engineers for additional dredging funds. The job that was started 3 years ago needs to be finished!
Public Works Recognition
I recently had the pleasure of attending the American Society of Civil Engineers Annual Awards Dinner with the city’s Director of Public Works Dave Webb, Senior Engineer Mark Vukojevic, and City Project Director Zac Gentry. The City received an award for the recently completed Park Avenue Bridge Project (I call it the Little Island Bridge); one of 17 awards given by the Society to deserving projects across Orange County. The Little Island Bridge was selected for the Construction Project of the Year in the construction category due to the complex nature of the project required.
Election Season is once again upon us. The positions held by Diane Dixon, Kevin Muldoon, Duffy Duffield and Scott Peotter are open with each of these Council members having served their first four (4) year term. In addition to all four of these incumbent candidates, two new candidates who have officially filed with the City are Joy Brenner -District 6, and Tim Stoaks - District 3. Let me just say that if you like my track record over this first year, you will definitely want to take a close look at Joy and Tim who are both endorsed and supported by me! Outstanding, common sense, candidates who want only to do the best job possible for the citizens of Newport Beach.
As always, I remain at your service and greatly enjoy this manner of keeping in touch with you. Should you have any questions, concerns, or just need some clarification, do not hesitate to contact me.
Newport Beach City Council